1./ Kompanie Großdeutschland are a part of the 'Northern World War 2 Association'. We were formed in January 2009 from reenactors who wanted to portray an elite German military unit. Our aim is to portray as authentically as possible soldiers from the German army elite Grossdeutschland Panzer Grenadier Regiment, during the Ostfront campaign after June 1943 with their vehicles and weapons and equipment.
Our specific portrayal is:
First Company (1./ Komanpie) of the first Battalion (1./ SPW Battalion) of the Panzergrenadier Regiment Großdeutschland, as they would have been seen from June 1943 onwards, the time when they were first equipped with the Sd.kfz 251 Auf C half-tracks or Hannomags
Research into Panzer Grenadier Regiment of the Panzer Grenadier Division Großdeutschland Orbat the various sources tell us our company would likely have been comprised of
1 x Kompanie HQ,
3 x Rifle Zug (Platoons) each platoon would have been equipped with a light anti-tank rifle plus three Squads.
The squads were made up of 8-10 men. They are likely to have been equipped with
1 Hannomag Sd.Kfz 251 Half-track with two crew.
1 MP-40 SMG
2 LMG's MG-42 or MG-34 type, mounted on bipods. Machine Gunners were issued a side arm of the type listed
2 Walther P-38 Pistol (alternatively P-08 Luger or Browning 1935 High Power)
3-5 K-98k Rifles
Beyond the personal weapons listed above Squad Level Weapons would have been available. These were issued to the squad or were acquired by the squad from a Kompanie Weapons pool usually without a dedicated crew.
1x Rifle grenade launcher
1x RPzB 54 Panzerschreck this was removed from squad level use sometime during 1944 but its use was maintained
in dedicated anti-tank teams at company level
G-43 Rifles if available
Panzerfaust's the number would depend upon supply levels
The Half-track's two crew members were also part of the squad and brought its number up to 10 or 12 they One would carry a MP-40 the other a K-98k
The StG-44, also known as the MP-44, was intended to rearm one or two platoons within a company as a replacement for the K98, unlike the G-43 which was intended to supplement the K98.
Thus the three Platoons would consist of a total of around 100 men in 9 Sd.Kfz 251 Halftracks, armed with 18 Mg42's in their light role, 9 panzershrecks, 9 rifle grenade launchers and an assortment of personal weapons including Pistols MP40's K98's and later StG-44's
1 x Heavy Platoon made up of two 81mm Mortars a heavy anti-tank rifle team and four Heavy Machine Guns again
these would have been MG 34 or MG42 mounted on Lafayette Tripods for use in a sustained fire role.
In an attempt to give a fuller & more rounded impression of the Regiment we have chosen to include in our portrayal...
Feldgendarmerie (Military Police) – Großdeutschland Military Police Troop, would have consisted of one platoon of men, recruited like the rest of the Army's MPs from civilian police and would have mainly been Unteroffizier (NCO) or higher to provide authority for their duties which included maintenance of discipline, collection of prisoners and traffic control duties.
A member of the Kriegsberichter zug (War Correspondent Platoon) – This platoon, responsible for producing recruitment and propaganda information. Großdeutschland were one of only 2 units that had its own dedicated Propaganda Platoon
Both the Feldgendarmerie troop and Kriegsberichter zug above were part of the Divisional HQ but would have interacted with other elements within the Panzergrenadier Regiment Großdeutschland.
As living history and re-enactment is not an exclusively male domain we have also chosen to include roles for ladies within the group
Helferinnen Des Heers- Over half a million women served in Auxiliary support roles with the German Wehrmacht during the second world war. They not only served within Germany but also in the occupied territories including France, Belarus, later in Yugoslavia, the Baltic States, Greece, Italy and Romania. Research done after the second world war suggests that over 25,000 women, who served with the Wehrmacht ,were sent to the Soviet Union and of that number it is beloved that 20,000 Helferinnen died in Soviet work camps.
They provided support services to the military working as telephone, telegraph and radio operators, typists, office assistants and messengers, personal assistants to senior Staff Officers. They also worked in air defense roles monitoring spotting and plotting enemy planes and crewing anti-aircraft (Flak) gun searchlights or as auxiliary gunners aswell as nursing helpers within the Deutsche Rote Kreuz (DRK) and all worked under the provisions of Military Law. This freed up valuable manpower for combat roles at the front.
The ladies within our group currently portray either Nachrichtenhelferin Des Heers (Female signals operator) or DRK Schwesternhelferin (German Red Cross Nursing Assistants) - Niether role would have made the ladies members of Panzer-Grenadier-Division Großdeutschland but the both roles would have seen them working along side various German units in their supporting roles.
We currently consist of around 25 members from all over the country, we are a friendly and welcoming group who are always interested in meeting potential new members no matter what your previous re-enacting experience. Most of the events we attend are staged as part of the NWW2A and these will always take priority. The location of events usually range from Durham in the north to the Midlands in the south we also attend events on both the East and West coast though we are open to invitations to events and members from anywhere in the UK. As a member you would be expected to do take part in drill, (in German), fully contribute with authentic camp life impressions and take part in realistic battle re-enactments in a safe yet realistic way.
If you are interested in joining 1./ Kompanie or would like to discuss booking our group for an event please contact Kriegsberichter K Zieiss
To contact please email - Kriegsberichter K Zieiss